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A PAIR OF LOUIS XV ORMOLU TWIN-BRANCH WALL-LIGHTS
This lot has no reserve.
A PAIR OF LOUIS XV ORMOLU TWIN-BRANCH WALL-LIGHTS

CIRCA 1750, ATTRIBUTED TO JACQUES CAFFIÉRI

Details
A PAIR OF LOUIS XV ORMOLU TWIN-BRANCH WALL-LIGHTS
Circa 1750, attributed to Jacques Caffiéri
Each with scrolled molded asymmetric backplate cast with flowerheads to the base, the scrolled arms pierced with C-scrolls and cast with berried leaves and flowerheads, with acanthus scrolled drip-pans and nozzles, rethreaded, one inscribed in red paint 589A, each with later fixing bracket to the reverse
20in. (51cm.) high, 13½in. (34cm.) wide (2)
Provenance
Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Wrightsman, New York.
Mrs. Charles B. Wrightsman, sold Sotheby's New York, 21 May 1988, lot 103 ($24,200).
Literature
F.J.B. Watson, The Wrightsman Collection, New York, 1966, vol II, no. 221, p. 408.
Special Notice

This lot has no reserve.

Lot Essay

Designed in the Louis XV 'pittoresque' style popularised by Juste-Aurèle Meissonier and Nicolas Pineau, these wall-lights can be attributed to the sculpteur, fondeur et ciseleur du roi Jacques Caffiéri (1678-1755), probably with the assistance of his son, Philippe (1714-1774). With their pierced guilloche branches and dense, flower-embellished backplates, they display close similarities with the suite of four supplied to Madame Infante, Louise-Elizabeth of France, duchesse de Parma for the Palazzo di Colorno. Now in the J.Paul Getty Museum (C. Bremer-David, Decorative Arts, An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, 1993, no.168, p,103), these latter wall-lights were almost certainly amongst the thirty-four wagons of furnishings and fineries brought back to Colorno from the duchesse's second trip to Paris between September 1752 and September 1753.

Whilst Madame Infante is known to have purchased much directly from the marchand-mercier Lazare Duvaux, as well as from the ciseleur, doreur sur métaux du Roy Antoine Lelièvre, it was Caffiéri who was most extensively patronised on this commision. As Peter Hughes has argued in The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Furniture III, London, 1996, no.266, pp.1310-1315, however, some of the gilt-bronze may actually originally have been commissioned by Louis XV for his own use a few years before and given by him to his eldest daughter; this hypothesis is based particularly upon the ormolu chandelier, also from Colorno, now in the Wallace, which is signed and dated CAFFIERI A PARIS 1751 and was, therefore, commissioned before their arrival in Paris.

A pair of two-branch wall-lights of closely related form, probably also executed by Caffiéri, appear in the background of the 1765 portrait of Princess Luisa of Parma by Laurent Pécheux, which is conserved in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence. These wall-lights, which she had at Colorno, were transferred to the Quirinale in 1855, are illustrated in A. González-Palacios, op. cit., no. 50, p. 241.

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